Reima Go kidventure map

“Mum, can we take a look at our Kidventure Challenge progress on your phone?”

I know a lot of children that have asked for Fitbits which I have to admit, I found really odd to start with. But the more I think about it, the more I can see it from a child’s point of view … it’s a competitive thing. Look how much I walked today! And let’s face it, in today’s sedentary tablet world the more we can get them up and out the better.

Having said all of that, the twins still don’t possess their own fitbits. Which is a good thing as Reima got in touch recently and asked if we’d like to review their latest multi award-winning project, Reima Go Kidventure Challenge.

Reima Kidventure Challenge

Reima outdoor clothing for kids

Reima is a Finnish clothing company that specializes in comfortable and stylish outerwear for children. They’ve been making clothes for all the family since the 1940’s and as they stepped into the new millennium, they chose to focus entirely on children’s clothes and perfected their range from 0 – 12 years old.

In 2016, they took their product one exciting step further and introduced Reima Go which has won many awards for innovation, design and user experience.

ReimaGO sensor

Reima Go is a sensor that sits in the child’s clothes or on an arm strap and logs all of the activity that takes place every day. It has been created with kids in mind and allows parents to keep track of their movement via an app on their phone.

The sensor, created together with Suunto, turns on when your child starts moving and stores the intensity and duration of movement. It is very sturdy and waterproof plus it has a long battery life.

As the children move around and play they can check later on the app, that their movement has turned into energy for the game character and they can power through exciting new worlds. The more they move, the more rewards they get.

#REIMAKIDVENTURE

Reima Kid Adventure globe

The company mission is to “encourage children to discover the joy of movement” and the next step was to come up with a challenge to inspire children and grown-ups to get moving more! The challenge, set together with Visit Finland and Ruka Kuusamo, is to collect 1 million active hours from children all over the world

The benefits of movement

Whenever I ask the girls to put their tablets away I get groans of despair and more fequently, ‘I’ve got nothing to do!’ Of course you haven’t because you’re not using your imagination! It takes some careful discussion and some persuasive arguments but once they are convinced, they love it which just proves to me how important it is. Push through the initial argument and get them up and out.

If you’re stuck for persuasive arguments, here’s a few ideas to try on them to create their own Kidventure

  • A trip to the local park or playground is always a huge winner with my two.
  • Walk the family dog. I like them to think they are responsible for Baxter too and walking at weekends as a family is vital for him.
  • A walk on the beach searching for treasures brought to shore by the latest tide.
  • Put the tent up in the back garden and watch how much stuff they take out (and that will need bringing back in!)
  • Set up a gymnastics mat on the grass with cushions, mattresses from sun beds, blankets and anything to soften the blow a bit.
  • Get the bikes out and take them on a cycle ride, make sure you trace the journey to show them after.
  • Rollerblades, skating rinks, ice skating. All fabulous ways of getting children moving and having lots of fun.
  • Climbing walss – this will be our next challenge.

Our Reima Go experience

Reima Kid Adventure globe

As mentioned above, there was a lot of excitement when the activity sensors arrived and they wanted to start them up immediately and get going. My first thought was, ‘How long before they lose them?’

The sensors are small black discs about the size of a 50p piece and are designed to fit into the Reima outdoor clothes in specially designed pockets. Not having those jackets, the girls decided to keep them in their school shirt pocket. One week later and one has already been lost. It was on the day they had a swimming lesson so I am hoping someone has found it and handed it in.

I think it would be a great idea to make them into a wristband and that way you would have to take it off to lose it. I would also recommend sticking a name tag on them, firstly to differentiate whose is whose and secondly, in case one gets lost.

We downloaded the app on my phone which meant all daily checking had to be done on my phone. They did want to download on their own tablets – which would have been a better idea and given them more control over the games and challenges but it requires my email address. I was a bit worried it might be linked to sales and so I have said no.

Win a Trip to Lapland

Reima are offering a holiday to Finland for the whole family to be in with a chance to win here’s what you have to do.

  1. Post a blog post, vlog or share on your social media: Why is kid’s physical activity so important? using the tags #millionhoursofjoy and #reimakidventure
  2. Tag three friends on Facebook or Instagram who might like to join in too. Link your post to #millionhoursofjoy challenge campaign page www.reima.com/kidventure and ask your followers to donate their kids’ activity hours to the global challenge.
  3. Register your post here to be in with a chance to win https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/Reima

Disclosure: We were sent a lovely Gift bag by Reima for the purpose of this post and included were two Reima Go Sensors. All opinions are my own.

Oh the excitement in the house with the release of the new Paddington 2 movie, we have yet to see it but have pencilled in next weekend – maybe Friday night if I can work it out. Paddington has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, I have read his books, watched the cartoons and passed on the joy this little bear brings to all of my children. I am especially loving reliving it all over again with the twins.

We loved the first Paddington film and have recently been sent the Paddington Pop Up special edition book for Movie 2, (if you happen to spot one in the shops – buy it as they are quickly running out). It’s one of those books that will be a collector’s item and always a joy to look through.

Harper Collins have very kindly given us a bundle of 5 Paddington books to give away to one lucky reader, take a look at what is included…

Paddington 2: The Story of the Movie – £5.99

Paddington 2 story book

Alice is currently reading this book and says she is really enjoying it, she has only a chapter or two to go and said it was ‘un-put-downable’.

Paddington Little Library – £4.99

paddington books -  movie 2 books mini set

This would make the perfect gift for younger Paddington fans.

Paddington 2: The Movie Storybook – £6.99

Paddington books - movie story book

This is the perfect version for early readers as each page is accompanied with lots of lovely pictures taken from the film.

Paddington 2: Sticker Activity Book – £7.99

Paddington books - movie sticker activity book

For interactive kids who love stickers and playing games, quizzes and all sorts of fun that is included in this book.

Paddington: Sticker Scene Book – £4.99

Paddington books - sticker scene book

This book is the perfect follow up after seeing the film as each page or double spread has an image taken from the film and stickers to add in acting as a great reminder of the film. A great stocking filler or gift under the tree!

If you are as big a Paddington fan as I am then you might like to visit his website which is full of fun activities and information. He even has his own Facebook page!

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cool grandparents

Throughout my childhood, I had cool grandparents. They held a very special place in my heart. They were the foundation of our family and even if we had our ups and downs, they were the unmovable rocks that we could turn to. If one of my grandparents pulled me up on something, it was worse than being told off by mum or dad. These were the people at the top of my pyramid of love and those I never wanted to upset.

Each grandparent offered something different. Nana lived in Waterloo, an Irish immigrant who had been widowed way too early with four young sons to look after. A staunch Catholic, she would grill me every weekend asking if I had been to mass or not. Nana liked to make cupcakes, she measured everything with a cup and always allowed us to lick out the bowl afterwards.

My mother’s parents lived closer to us, grandad was Hungarian with a fascinating history I learned later in life. My grandmother came from a line of teachers, her own father a headmaster at a grammar school and her mother a primary school teacher… maybe moving to education wasn’t so far off of my life journey after all!

These special people, who stood at the sidelines of my childhood and encouraged me at every step, have been fundamental in my life and are a presence I am very keen to encourage in the twin’s life. In fact, I was overjoyed (and a little bit jealous) of them shooting off to County Durham over the summer holidays for a fortnight with Nonna and Grandad.

There was already an incredibly strong connection between the twins and the gramps but spending this special time with them and getting up to so many fabulous activities (Harry Potter castles, Hadrian’s Wall and making pottery) strengthened the bond even more. Reinforcing the idea that grandparents are enormously important in a growing child’s life.

The girls still talk today about their summer holiday antics and are plotting to return next year too. I’m not sure the grandparents know about it yet though!

They think of their grandparents as cool people to be with, they take them to nice places, let them stay up ‘late’, allow them into the kitchen to cook and bake. Their grandparents are full of knowledge – they encourage them to read, to listen, to ask questions and to try new things.

I can honestly say that the girls thrive in their company and it’s so good for them to be with other inspiring adults rather than all the time with us.

How to be cool grandparents

If you are about to become a grandparent I wish you a lifetime of happiness ahead, it’s one very special relationship that keeps on giving. If you’re looking for some top tips on how to be a cool grandparent, I found this fun infographic on Shepherds Friendly that gives some really good ideas to keep in mind as you develop your relationships.

Shepherds Friendly also have an efficient plan for saving for your grandchildren’s future that is worth a read. Take a look at their Young Savers Plan for more information to see if it’s for you.

boots for dog walkingNovember is Baxter’s birthday and he will be 4 years old. In January we’ll be counting 3 years since we left Battersea Dogs Home with him and he became such an important part of our family. We really couldn’t imagine life without him nowadays.

We’ve all got to know each other very well and it’s fascinating to understand him more as time passes.

I mean, we always knew he liked food, he lives for it! I can’t go into the kitchen without him appearing in the doorway with the saddest, hard-done-by look on his face. I can’t open any packaging that remotely rustles without him leaping off the sofa and heading towards the promising noise. In fact, I would go as far as saying that food is Baxter’s most favourite thing in the whole world.

In second place of Baxter’s favourite things is a lap. You haven’t even sat down properly and he’s already climbing onto your lap settling himself as comfy as possible regardless if you’ve yet to put your mug of hot steaming tea down. Once he is comfy, he takes a huge sigh and relaxes into you, dropping off to sleep with a loud snore.

walking the dog on the beach

He hates being left at home alone though and will stand blocking the front door if he can get there before you. When you send him back into the lounge the look on his face is so sad it is heartbreaking. On the flip side – mention the ‘w’ word and he goes crazy, yapping excitedly until you’ve got your boots, coat and doggy bags ready!

We try to walk him twice a day, fitting it around work, after-school clubs and every other commitment that goes into daily life. We are very lucky that either Oana (my daughter in law) or our lovely next-door neighbour, will take him out to stretch his legs when we are at work/school.

However, Dad is king of the dog walking and the two of them set off on their walks on a regular basis. Around the Warren (a local green area), across the fields on the old WWII runway or, when we are at the coast, the beach.

Now Baxter has a dream…that of catching a seagull and whenever we are at the coast he pulls as hard as he can to get on the sand to chase them. So, we always make a point of stopping off at the beach and watching him run as fast as he can across the sand chasing the gulls who circle above him and return laughing above him out of reach. If he runs into the sea, which he doesn’t like as he’s not too sure what to make of the constant waves rolling in. However, should he find himself soaking wet, he will then roll in the sand to dry himself off….you can imagine the state he gets in, can’t you?

boots for dog walking

All this dog walking requires some good quality footwear and jackets. You need to know that your feet are going to stay warm and dry and you want to be sure you won’t get wet or cold as you are out in all weathers.

Millets have a huge selection of outdoors clothes including waterproof jackets, fleece, hats & gloves and footwear. They got in touch and asked if we’d like to choose two pieces and review them. Dad checked out the men’s selection and found a great pair of boots and a green parka.

He’s been wearing them a lot. At the park, on the beach and for walks around the area we live in. He’s very pleased with his choices. The boots are just what he was looking for walking the dog. They are comfortable, high to the ankle and have a good grip on the sole. The jacket (minus the fur trim around the hood – that’s not him at all) has also been a huge success. He has tested it on very windy days (Storm Brian and Ophelia) and he has been caught in the rain. He made a point of telling me how impressed he was and pointing out the beads of water running down the coat rather than penetrating the fabric.

Success Millets! The man and his dog are both very pleased. However, we still need to catch that seagull…

boots for dog walking

Disclosure: Millets online sent us the jacket and boots for dad for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.

Me: “Dinner’s on the table girls.”
Alice: “Not yet mum, I can’t put this book down!”

Separate occasion
Me: “Don’t forget to take a book in the car for the journey.”
Bessie: “Oh brilliant, I can read Kaspar Prince of Cats!”

Kaspar Prince of Cats book review

What more proof do you need that Kaspar Prince of Cats by Michael Morpurgo is utterly compelling? I have yet to get a look in but judging by the twin’s reaction this book is very, very good and on my half term reading list!

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the twins engrossed in a book. They get comfortable on the sofa, sinking into the cushions with Baxter cuddling in on the scene too as close as he can, happy for the warmth of a soft lap.

Silence reigns in the house and my two little people start to take an adventure via the printed words forming pictures in their mind as the story develops.
Is there anything better?

The fact that they are huge animal fans – any picture or video of an animal on my Facebook stream is always met with very long ‘awws’ – meant that the book was already set up to be a hit. However, some books can disappoint. I have had to write in the girl’s school reading books twice now asking permission to exchange their books as they found them boring.

Not the case for Kaspar Prince of Cats though. This book, read to date by two people, is already well thumbed and has lost its ‘brand new’ look.

The story is about a cat, which you obviously gathered by the title. A special cat that arrived at the Savoy hotel in London in a basket. Carried in by Johnny Trott, the bell boy, who carried all of Countess Kandinsky’s belongings.

Now I can’t tell you what happens as I haven’t read the book yet, not to mention it would be a huge spoiler but, suffice to say that Johnny ends up with Kaspar. The two of them become great friends with Lizziebeth, a spirited American heiress and Johnny and Kaspar find themselves travelling around the world. They encounter all sorts of troubles on their journey – theft, a shipwreck even a rooftop rescue!

It is said that he goes by the official title of Prince Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats.

It is said that he is a Muscovite, a Londoner and a New Yorker.

It is said that he is the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic…

I’d say they are the perfect ingredients to cuddle up on the sofa for a good read, wouldn’t you?

You can win a signed copy simply by entering the competition on the Rafflecopter below

PS. **Puts on detective hat** I thought you’d really interested to hear about how Michael Morpurgo was inspired to write this story

Kaspar Prince of Cats book review

We are delighted to be invited by Harper Collins to take part in the #MorpurgosAnimals blog tour where each blog is focusing on a separate book. Other books to look our for are: – The Butterfly Lion, The Fox and The Ghost King, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Born To Run, An Elephant in the Garden, Toro! Toro! Shadow and Running Wild reviewed by some of my favourite bloggers.
For up to date information follow Harper Collins on Twitter and Facebook

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